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That is NOT a replacement. *yawn*
 

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Looks like a mutant.
 

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Like I wrote previously in another thread...Honda is building some seriously UGLY bikes these days. Anyone seen the new CB1000? I've seen the ones in Japan and they look seriously good. As in a modern version of the old CB1100 that Freddie Spencer rode back in the day. The one Honda are bringing to the US for 2011 looks like some kind of 3D origami version of a cartoon Z1000 Kawasaki. It's seriously UGLY, just like the new VFR1200 and the CBR250....well....maybe not....it might be slightly less stomach turning....sean
 

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The odd thing about this 800 is that they gave it the body works to look like a dual sport with NONE of the functionality. Form is not following function there. I'd opt for the new Tiger 800 over that street bike made to look dual sport.
 

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I love the concept of this category. Not really interested in going off road but love the comfortable upright riding position of a naked bike, high torque engine you don't need to wring out to 14,000RPM, but with some wind protection and decent on road handling approaching that of a sport bike, not too much weight and none of the compromises or look of a cruiser. Think KTM nailed it with the SMT. I'd love to see a Street Triple with a Versys like windshield.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr9J_8NAmqg
 

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Just remember....life is too short to ride an ugly bike ;D
 
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Well said. I want a bike to look "right", clean lines, nice proportions. The Triumph 675 is gorgeous to me, although they've tarted it up slightly in the latest styling revision. The latest design trend seems to be an attempt to draw on the appeal of the Transformers to the generation that grew up with them, or it's a desperate attempt to draw attention by making them so gaudy you can't ignore them.
 

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I agree K-woppa. In my mind, a bike should be styled simply, yet elegantly. Purposeful and devoid of gimmicks. Slim in the middle, waspish in the tail. Little or no graphics....clean lines.....engineered efficiently with purposeful and simple solutions to packaging problems. The 675 is (or was) faithful to that ideal. As was the old 916-998 Ducati and the newer 1098-1198. The first Aprilia Mille R (like mine) and the new RSV4......not too many on the list after that.

The CBR F2, F3 and F4-F4i were some of the best looking Honda's to ever turn a wheel on the street. The second gen CBR-RRs were too, before the newest iteration with the origami like body work. Those were styled like the RC211 MotoGP bike. The RC30, 45 and finally the 51 all were pretty good looking machines in their own right. I found the RC51 to be the least 'porky' of the Japanese twins at that time. It was positively svelte compared to the Suzuki TLs. Still, compared to the Aprilia and Ducati it was porky in the middle.

What I can't understand is, Honda utilized their race bikes as influences on their street bike stying to a great degree of success. Then turned around and foisted that hideous styling exercise of a VFR1200 on us. Maybe some people don't care what it looks like, as long as it works really well. I'm not one of them...and I dare say a whole lot of people agree with that. When Ducati went with the redesigned superbike, and even the SuperSport they lost a pretty big sales percentage. Finally to the point that they discontinued the SS which had been one of the best selling before the change. Style most certainly counts in the buyers equation. How Honda have lost sight of that is beyond me. In the current economy, people aren't buying unless they're truly moved by a bike. Just not seeing that in the majority of Honda products this year......sean
 

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Apex Sniper said:
Apriliarider said:
I agree K-woppa. In my mind, a bike should be styled simply, yet elegantly. Purposeful and devoid of gimmicks. Slim in the middle, waspish in the tail. Little or no graphics....clean lines.....engineered efficiently with purposeful and simple solutions to packaging problems.
http://www.motorcycledaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/072010top-i_848evo_pitlane.jpg

Yes yes.

THAT'S some form following function right there!
 

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in4mation said:
Apex Sniper said:
Apriliarider said:
I agree K-woppa. In my mind, a bike should be styled simply, yet elegantly. Purposeful and devoid of gimmicks. Slim in the middle, waspish in the tail. Little or no graphics....clean lines.....engineered efficiently with purposeful and simple solutions to packaging problems.
http://www.motorcycledaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/072010top-i_848evo_pitlane.jpg

Yes yes.

THAT'S some form following function right there!
How do you explain Harley Davidson, where function follows form - at a very safe distance?
 

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twowheels said:
How do you explain Harley Davidson, where function follows form - at a very safe distance?
Harley is a different animal. It doesn't appeal to those looking for the things I wrote about. Harley is about tradition and traditionally styled motorcycles....tradition from the early 1900s. Not forward looking, weight reducing, purposeful and unencumbered designs meant to extract the best performance from both the bike and rider. As you correctly and humorously state, function and form are very nearly mutually exclusive at HD. Nearly, because no performance increase can occur if it means changing the form, but it does occur at about the same rate as glacial progression.

Please, don't anyone misconstrue my opinion as anti Harley as I appreciate them for what they are. Please, what ever you do, don't call them rolling art. I don't see them as that either. I appreciate that a Harley does what it was intended to do better than any other bike in the same 'niche' market. Try going slow, parade speed slow on a sport bike. It's work. It can be done but it's work. On a Road King it's no sweat. It's so easy it's almost brainless. It's perfect for around town riding where the speed limits are low. It's not bad on the highway either, provided you're just out for a leisurely ride. It's even well within it's comfort zone going on a day or two long road trip. It's really a do it all kind of bike but a sport bike it ain't. That's what I like about it and Harleys in general.

What Harley's don't do, is massage my love of technical progress, of beautiful body work styling, of efficient engineering and performance handling, braking and acceleration. Ducati, Aprilia, MV Agusta, Triumph and BMWs new S1000RR all hit that mark. Bimota does too but they're priced well out of my budget. That is also not to say that I don't find redeeming qualities in motorcycles from the Japanese....but I find fewer and fewer inspired design and stying from the Japanese Big 4. I see recycled ideas, passing from one manufacturer to the next to the point that all the bikes have started to look similar, from the placement of their exhaust to the shape of the bodywork. All of which turns my stomach to some degree. Some far more than others.

The new Hondas are by far the worst in my mind. The Yamaha and Kawasaki examples in Superbike design are the best of the bunch. Suzuki, while quite possibly the best of the bunch in user friendliness....fall behind them...though still a long way in front of Honda. At least Honda haven't gone the same route with the CBR/RRs....well....I saw a new 1000RR today and it's not a long way off the VFR other than the head lights. It's not quite ugly but it's not as good looking as the previous generation. Pretty sad when Honda used to build some pretty inspired motorcycles. NR750 anyone? RC30? Even the last generation VFR800 was a decent looking machine. The a$$ end was sorta plain but the bike wasn't ugly. My only lingering thought is, why? Why continue to copy instead of lead? At least the new ZX-10 is not covered in crappy ugly graphics or origami looking body work. Looks like there is some hope then.....sean
 

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in4mation said:
Apex Sniper said:
Apriliarider said:
I agree K-woppa. In my mind, a bike should be styled simply, yet elegantly. Purposeful and devoid of gimmicks. Slim in the middle, waspish in the tail. Little or no graphics....clean lines.....engineered efficiently with purposeful and simple solutions to packaging problems.
http://www.motorcycledaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/072010top-i_848evo_pitlane.jpg

Yes yes.

THAT'S some form following function right there!
Yep, and they also managed to make it look SEXY AS ****! I know they aren't all going to be insta-boners like that bike, but why can't we see more attractive sport bikes in general?
 
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Apriliarider said:
Pretty sad when Honda used to build some pretty inspired motorcycles. NR750 anyone? RC30? Even the last generation VFR800 was a decent looking machine.
Soichiro Honda was a hands-on mechanic, engineer, and had a deep passion for racing. His influence resonated through the motorcycle company he built even well after his death in 1991. The iconic CB 750 that set the motorcycling world on it's ear in 1969, and later the CBX, were a result of their 6 cylinder GP bikes of the early sixties, motorcycling's equivalent of a finely crafted swiss watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaRop_ZMwo0&feature=related

I think the realities of the current economy, as well as the lack of that kind of leadership in the Japanese big four, has lead to them attempt to draw customers by employing in-your-face styling.
 

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From ducatiman's link:
You can bet whatever they come up with this time around will be something special,’ says Gardner. Well, we’d definitely like to believe that Honda are planning to launch an all-new V4-engined Fireblade in 2012 and coming as it does from a man who won a 500cc GP racing world championship aboard a Honda, it’s quite likely to be true.
Freakin' SWEET! I hope they style it after the RC212V. It'll be a winner in the looks dept, even if they don't utilize a single sided swingarm....sean
 

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Harley is a different animal. It doesn't appeal to those looking for the things I wrote about. Harley is about tradition and traditionally styled motorcycles....tradition from the early 1900s. Not forward looking, weight reducing, purposeful and unencumbered designs meant to extract the best performance from both the bike and rider. As you correctly and humorously state, function and form are very nearly mutually exclusive at HD. Nearly, because no performance increase can occur if it means changing the form, but it does occur at about the same rate as glacial progression.

Please, don't anyone misconstrue my opinion as anti Harley as I appreciate them for what they are. Please, what ever you do, don't call them rolling art. I don't see them as that either. I appreciate that a Harley does what it was intended to do better than any other bike in the same 'niche' market. Try going slow, parade speed slow on a sport bike. It's work. It can be done but it's work. On a Road King it's no sweat. It's so easy it's almost brainless. It's perfect for around town riding where the speed limits are low. It's not bad on the highway either, provided you're just out for a leisurely ride. It's even well within it's comfort zone going on a day or two long road trip. It's really a do it all kind of bike but a sport bike it ain't. That's what I like about it and Harleys in general.

What Harley's don't do, is massage my love of technical progress, of beautiful body work styling, of efficient engineering and performance handling, braking and acceleration. Ducati, Aprilia, MV Agusta, Triumph and BMWs new S1000RR all hit that mark. Bimota does too but they're priced well out of my budget. That is also not to say that I don't find redeeming qualities in motorcycles from the Japanese....but I find fewer and fewer inspired design and stying from the Japanese Big 4. I see recycled ideas, passing from one manufacturer to the next to the point that all the bikes have started to look similar, from the placement of their exhaust to the shape of the bodywork. All of which turns my stomach to some degree. Some far more than others.
How do you look at buell?
Kind of old nostalgia collides with innovation, to fill a niche?
 

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Yeah,
Buell is more of Niche kind of bike to me. Eric comes up with some interesting solutions to things but having ridden a couple Buells, I'm not convinced they're solutions to real problems. Of course, I'd like to see what he can do on his own, without corporate interference from a company that knows nothing about sports motorcycles. I imagine, some of his ideas will make it into the public light in pure form rather than diluted by corporate committee.

That said, the XB bikes were different enough, though I never got to ride one. I've ridden with guys who had them, and the XB9 was actually quite capable. Kept up with us around the lake roads I've written about. The problem with them was again, interference from HD corporate know nothings trying to bend Buell's marketing strategy to fit into Harley Davidsons. They didn't know sport bikes, they didn't understand their customer and didn't allow Buell to succeed. Had he done so, HD might have weathered the down turn in the economy much better than it did.

Design and styling wise, I think Buell's are hit or miss....all on the same bike. Use of Sportster engine while an interesting exercise, resulting in a unique motorcycle was also boat anchor for Buell. Sure, they did a lot to advance the ancient technology of the Sportster engine, which will serve HD well for a number of years. For Buell ,though, it tied their hands for too long. The engines they designed on the Blast platform would have likely been a better choice, had they been able to go through with their plans. The under engine exhaust was unique if now copied to the point of being universal. The perimeter brakes, also interesting solution to lowering unsprung weight....didn't work so well. I rode a couple of them, like I said, and the large rotating mass felt like it pulled the bikes to the right on straight roads and tried to stand the bike up, if trail braking into a left hand corner. Those were my perceptions. The minimal styling was a hit with some...but I found most of them to be ugly, and lacking those clean lines. The XB9 and 12s were the best looking of the whole bunch while the later XBR was ugly to the point of being cartoonish. Parts looked to be stuck on rather than integrated into the design of the bike. The engine was a gem, but and I hear the chassis was quite good. The body Buell wrapped it in....fugly.

Overall, I think there were some land mark engineering ideas that came out of Buell. However, the styling, or lack of any real styling made the bikes less than memorable for their looks while sticking with the Harley Sportster engines made their performance less than stellar. A bike is sometimes much more than the sum of it's parts which is where the XB9 and 12 are in my mind. The rest, were mostly forgettable.......sean
 
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